Free SEO Lesson 2 – How Search Engines Work

How Search Engines Work?

Internet Search engine browser window - stock photo The way the search engines work is rather like a popularity contest. How do you determine what is a popular website? The more popular the website the higher it is going to rank up in the search engine. We need to think of ways to make the website as popular as possible.When Google came out, one of the things that made it hugely popular was they re-engineered the way they did their algorithm, their search algorithm compared to what a lot of people had done in the past. The theory they came up with had a lot to do with the way quoting works in theses. A research report became more important if it was referenced in other research reports. This is in the real world. Let’s say someone writes a research report on cancer. There may be another report written on cancer. In that report they say ‘In such and such a paper they said this’. The more references the first cancer report gets, the more weight it has, because everyone is referencing it. Google used the same technology and theory with search engines and re-engineered the way search engines work. We’ll talk in terms of a popularity contest. In order to understand SEO (search engine optimization) the first step we need to have a look at how search engines work. Search engines (such as Google, Yahoo, Bing etc.) store thousands of millions of Web pages in their huge databases which is beyond human manual force. Therefore, sophisticated designed software robots are used to construct lists of words, which are found on the Web sites. These software robots are called ‘spiders’. They also known as ‘web crawlers’ are automated programs. Spider starts crawling to build its lists. The Web crawler automatically downloads all indexed links and documents from each page. These pages are, generally, utilized to collect information for the purpose of indexing. On this process, search engines use other applications to make that easier. These applications are on various types such as;
  • Update notification
  • Visualization
  • Structural Analysis
  • Personal web agents
  • Page validation
  • Mirroring
  • Validation
The internet is filled with billions of websites and pages, and each time a search query made, the search engines go through all of these pages and make connections with what they deem are the most relevant and valued results. There are four major functions of a search engine and they are:
  • building an index
  • crawling
  • determining relevancy and page ranking
  • presenting the results

Crawling and Indexing

Crawling refers to the process which search engines go through in order to create an index of the web pages and links. These software bots search through available websites and index the information on the site as well as links that are available to and from the site. Through the information gathered through this process, search engines begin to create and build an index of sites that are visited and the content of those sites. It is the indexes that are built through the crawling process which are accessed and searched when trying to determine the search results on a specific search query. Search engines use automated robots to create their indexes of websites, pages and links, which are then stored in extremely large databases around the world. Many search engines will have their indexes updated on a regular basis, whether that is monthly or weekly or periodically as needed. These bots will locate all links streaming from a web page as well as the links that connect to that page.

 Determining relevancy and page rankings

Each time a search term or phrase is entered into search engine, the software searches through their indexes in order to produce the most relevant and reliable list of results. Search engine software has been developed to judge all of the web pages within their indexes in a way that will produce a list that is determined both by the relevancy of the site to the search query as well as the overall value and reliability of the information on the site. When search engines were first created and used, the formula for determining relevancy was rather simple and focused mostly on the most displayed words on a site or page in order to rank search results. As the Internet has become more complex with the developing digital technologies, search engines now rely on a number of different factors in order to compute the relevancy of the web pages to a search query. This is started with Google around 1990s and has created a whole new online term and also a huge new business sector called ‘SEO’. Since then, search engines no longer simply look at the text on the page, but also take into consideration a number of other factors including page titles, the links within your site, onsite links to other sites, as well as links to your site from other sites, and so on.

How to write search-engine-friendly copy which will also not turn off human readers:

#1. Make sure content is easy to read

Headings: 8 words or less Sentences: 15-20 words Paragraphs: 40-70 words Page word count: 250+ words

#2. Eliminate pompous (!) words and fancy phrases

Use short, simple words. Get to the point. And then stop.

#3. Write from me to you

The most powerful word in English language is ‘YOU’. Write for your reader, in a conversational tone.

#4. Drive actions with content

Content is about getting the reader’s attention and keeping it. Content is about selling. Make sure your content is driving your customer’s actions. Then put that content on your home page.       Lesson 1: Introduction (What is SEO?)       Lesson 2: How search engines work?  Lesson 3: Keyword Research Lesson 4: Competition Research Lesson 5: Site Preparation Lesson 6: Page Optimization (On page SEO) Lesson 7: Getting Indexed Lesson 8: Link Popularity Analysis Lesson 9: Link Building (Acquiring Links) Lesson 10: Using Social Media (Off page SEO) Lesson 11: Article and Directory Submissions Lesson 12: Web 2.0 and Viral Marketing Lesson 13: Rank Checking Lesson 14: Visitor Analysis Lesson 15: Best Free SEO Tools Lesson 16: Glossary of Terms BONUS LESSONS Lesson 17: Google Adwords Lesson 18: Google Adsense Lesson 19: Google Analytics

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